Many of us have been sleepwalking through life due to the nature of this fallen world, the mistakes of our past and an enemy who keeps throwing this junk at us. The enemy wants you asleep at the switch. He wants you in denial. He wants you turning to medication.
God wants more. Just imagine what it would look like for God to break through in your life and your family. Ask him to do “immeasurably more” (Eph 3:20)
If we will allow Him, God will show us the compromises we’ve made in our lives, the idols we turn to and the past hurts which have shaped us. You’re either growing in wholeness or moving in brokenness. Growing in wholeness is not a destination. It’s a journey. It’s a process. We will not get “there” in this life. This is a call to wholeness, not perfection. It is being restored and put back together. It starts with owning the specific brokenness in my life. Judging others, constantly measuring myself vs. others and putting myself above others, etc.
You’ve heard of the clinical term of dissociation. It’s a survival mechanism. It’s a gift in our design from God to provide a path of survival for us in a trauma until we can come of age and get the resources we need to be able to go back and deal with it. It is why we may block things out of our memory until such a time that a safe place has been provided to bring it out. One of the ways God gives us to heal is our ability to name our story truthfully. Not diminish it but to name it to one or a few safe people. The more you’re able to tell your story truthfully will be the extent to which you’ll be able to heal.
The Holy Spirit tells us He desires truth in our innermost being (Psalm 51:6) “You desire honesty from the womb, teaching me wisdom even there.” Denying reality is a gift – for a time – for your protection. But there comes a time where we need to grow up and with Jesus step into more and more healing. There comes a time to come clean and own it.
Almost everyone has had some impactive trauma in their life (and thus, going on in their body). How it manifests is going to be very, very different. Like a young boy whose father left the family and there was nothing the boy could do to stop it. He had sensations in his body he had to deal with – and – likely, he had to shut down and dissociate because of deep anxiety or feeling sick to his stomach or rage that was overwhelming. So, he shut down and now it contributes in his adult life. He may not possess the range of emotions in him that God intended for him to have and it might be causing all sorts of issues i.e. his wife saying “Why are you so unavailable to me emotionally?”
It’s a lot to unpack with the Father but know this – Jesus wants healing for your heart. Jesus is all about restoration and nothing is beyond His reach. Nothing is too difficult, nothing is too old for Him, nothing is ever too broken or out of His reach.
In the beginning, Adam and Eve were naked and unashamed. Transparent and vulnerable. Nothing to fear, nothing to hide. Free will gave us the chance to choose God or choose self. Sin came. They went to hiding, fear and danger. Jesus came to restore us. Isaiah 61:1 “The Lord has anointed Me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and freedom to the prisoners.” Jesus claimed this verse for his ministry.
Are you poor? Are you brokenhearted? Are you captive to darkness? Mourning? World seems to be ashes? Are you in despair? Jesus says He came to give you life and give it to abundantly.
I am broken. Own it. What are the signs?
Stressed out trying to be everything others expect me to be?
Do you battle fear and anxiety on a regular basis?
Feel numb to life more often than you’d like to admit?
Do you go long stretches where there is little or no joy in your heart?
Accused of being driven and you don’t even know why you’re so driven?
Or do you hold back and never take risks
Are you thin skinned and easily offended?
Afraid of relationships and intimacy? Of being transparent and being known?
Do you turn to relief instead of restoration?
Plagued by bitterness, resentment, guilt or regret? Cynical about life?
Are there things you can’t stop doing but no matter how hard you try?
These are symptoms – they point to the disease. What are some of the sources?
- My own sinful choices. Decisions I’ve made that have brought great pain into my life. I can’t shift the blame to anyone else. Sin destroys and fractures our souls.
- Other’s sins. Sin impacts a lot of others around us. Some of us have deep hurts and wounds because of the sinful choices of others.
- Living in a fallen world. Death, illness, crime, the economy. They collect in our soul.
- The Enemy. He deceives us. Lies to your face. He will do whatever it takes to keep us in our brokenness.
What do we tend to do with our brokenness?
- Deny. We rationalize or shift the blame. Or we stuff it in denials.
- Hide. “Everybody is desperately insecure. Deep down, we are all convinced that if people knew who we really are, they would reject us. So, we find ways to hide or cover our perceived weaknesses.” (Paul Tournier) We hide in all kinds of ways. We isolate. We pose – living an act, putting on a mask hoping we can fool everyone.
- Perform. Perform to overcome our brokenness. We become perfectionists. Our identity becomes the things we do, how we perform. Just another way of hiding.
None of these will heal our brokenness. The only way to do that is to take it to God.
- We must first own it. Psalm 32:5 “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity … and you forgave the guilt of my sin.”
- Embrace it. Embrace the reality that I am broken and need God’s healing. Enemy lies to us about the very fact that we are broken. Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong.” God’s power is made perfect in our weakness. As long as we fight weakness and do everything we can to show that I am not, we will continue down the road to brokenness.
- Submit it. We cannot move to wholeness without going through total surrender to God. Wholeness begins in surrendering it to God.
- Receive God’s provision. His promise is to make me whole. He will keep His promise. It may be immediately, it may be over time but He will not leave us alone. He will restore!
The Gospel brings beauty out of brokenness. God is working everything for our good. The painful times sharpen us and draw us into deeper relationship with Him. God’s plans are good. But we must trust His timing, not ours.